Seclusion roomWHO: State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights), State Rep. Jonathan Carroll (D-Northbrook)
WHAT: Senate Education Committee Joint Hearing with the House Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee on SB 2315 and HB 3975
WHEN: 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2019
WHERE: Room C600, Michael A. Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60601

CHICAGO – State Senator Ann Gillespie and State Rep. Jonathan Carroll will attend a subject matter hearing on their legislation to ban the use of de facto solitary confinement as a form of punishment in public schools at 11 a.m. on Jan. 7, 2020 in Room C600 of the Michael A. Bilandic Building.

“Students, parents and educators must have a voice as we determine how to prevent this from being abused,” Gillespie said. “The changes we make must be informed by students who need seclusion rooms and the teachers and paraprofessionals that work with them.”

Gillespie and Carroll filed Senate Bill 2315 and House Bill 3975 respectively in response to an investigation by ProPublica Illinois and Chicago Tribune that revealed instances of isolation rooms being used under circumstances that violated state law and ISBE rules.

Category: News

President Abraham LincolnARLINGTON HEIGHTS – State Senator Ann Gillespie and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum are holding an essay contest for students in the 27th Senate District to showcase their writing abilities and knowledge of American history.

There are two essay prompts for different grade levels.

4th and 5th Graders must answer the question "What is Abraham Lincoln’s greatest accomplishment and how is it relevant today?" (3 page max.)

7th and 8th Graders are asked to answer the question "What lessons learned from Lincoln's life and public service can be applied to government and politics today?" (5 page max.)

Essays can be submitted to Senator Gillespie’s district office or electronically at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Jan. 27, 2020. All submissions should include the student’s name, school, home address, and the best contact information for their parents.

Winners will be announced on Lincoln’s 211th birthday on Feb. 12, 2020. The winning author from each age group will receive a certificate from the Illinois Senate, free admission to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and the opportunity to be Senator Gillespie’s page for a day on the Senate floor in Springfield.

Category: News

Senator GillespieARLINGTON HEIGHTS – State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) will join members of business, education and labor in overseeing an employment grant program, she announced today.

As a member of the 21st Century Employment Grant Program Advisory Board, it will be Gillespie’s duty to help oversee the progress of grant recipients, track gainful-employment rates of participants and monitor industry trends to determine where employment gaps can be filled.

“Equipping people with the professional and technical skills for jobs in their area will revitalize regional industries and uplift thousands of working class people,” Gillespie said. “Adults seeking employment and young people looking for low-cost alternatives to higher education will now have opportunities to receive hands-on training in a variety of fields.”

Read more: Gillespie appointed to workforce development board

Category: News

Senator GillespieARLINGTON HEIGHTS – State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) announced that she is taking action on the abuse of isolation rooms in public schools. A Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois investigation revealed that school staff placed children in isolation rooms over 20,000 times in the 2017-2018 academic year.

“Classrooms shouldn’t instill fear in our children,” Gillespie said. “Students deserve to feel safe with their teachers and school staff, not made to feel like literal prisoners.”

Isolation rooms function much like solitary confinement for prison inmates. They are small, locked chambers where children have no interaction with their peers and limited interaction with adults. Some don’t even have a place to sit other than the floor.

Senate Bill 2315 would make Illinois the 20th state to ban the use of isolation rooms in schools.
State Representative Jonathan Carroll (D-Northbrook) filed identical legislation in the Illinois House under House Bill 3975. The two legislators have vowed to work together to end the traumatic practice.

Current law allows school staff to isolate a student if they pose a danger to themselves or others. However, the investigation revealed that the isolation rooms are often used as a punishment for refusing to do classwork, swearing and other behavior that does not pose a threat to safety.

Governor JB Pritzker directed the Illinois State Board of Education to end the use of isolation rooms. ISBE amended their rules to only allow timeouts with a trained adult in the room, an unlocked door and “only for therapeutic reasons or protecting the safety of students and staff.”

Both bills will be considered when legislators return to Springfield in January.

Category: News

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
108D Capitol Building
Springfield IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-4471

Arlington Heights Office:
120 W. Eastman St., Suite 207
Arlington Heights IL 60004
Phone: 847-749-1880